Jesus Son of God - Luke 3
Take a few minutes to answer the question "Who am I?". Use no more than five words. Share your answers with one another, along with any needed explanation.
In Luke 3:21-22, Father Son and Spirit are all manifest. In your own words, describe the quality of relationship between the Father and Son.
What bearing does Jesus' sonship have on us as his followers? How is our 'sonship' (or daughterhood) similar to his? Different? For help, see Romans 8:9-17
What place does sonship have in defining our identity? If you lived every day as a beloved, well pleasing child, how would it impact your life? What keeps us from living in light of this reality?
For further discussion and/or personal study:
In the 1st Century, the term 'Son of God' was already full of cultural connotations. Read the following excerpt from Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible:
Jesus’ unique sonship is antithetical to concepts of sonship popular in the ancient world. In Hellenism, people believed a man could be a “son of the gods” in many ways: in mythology, by cohabitation of a god with a woman whose offspring was imagined to be superhuman; in politics, by giving generals and emperors high honors in the cult of Roman emperor worship; in medicine, by calling a doctor “son of Asclepius”; and eventually by ascribing to anyone with mysterious powers or qualities the title or reputation of “divine man.”
In the OT, certain men before the days of Noah (Gn 6:1–4) and “the angels” (including Satan, Jb 1:6; 2:1, and other heavenly beings, Ps 29:1; 82:6; 89:6 rsv margin) are called “sons of God.” Israel as a people was the chosen son of God. This corporate sonship became the basis of Israel’s redemption from Egypt: “Israel is my first-born son” (Ex 4:22; cf. Jer 31:9). Corporate sonship was the context for focus on personal sonship in the divine sanction of David as king: “I will be his father, and he will be my son” (2 Sm 7:14). David’s “adoptive” sonship was by divine decree: “I will proclaim the decree … ‘You are my son; today I have become your Father” (Ps 2:7); and it was the prophetic prototype of the “essential” sonship of Jesus, David’s royal son (Mt 3:17; Mk 1:11; Lk 3:22; Acts 13:33; Heb 1:5; 5:5). Other messianic prophecies ascribe divine names to the Davidic messiah: “Immanuel” (Is 7:13, 14) and “Mighty God, Everlasting Father” (9:6, 7). These are fulfilled in Jesus (Mt 1:23; 21:4–10; 22:41–45).
Luke understood the cultural climate of the day, and intentionally builds a new 'theology of Sonship' in his gospel.
Split into groups of 2. For about 5 minutes, have each group explore one of the passages below and record any info that helps shape the identity of Jesus as 'Son'. (If you have less than 12 people, omit or combine passages. If you have more than 12 people, form larger groups)
Compare your findings with one another. In what ways does Luke intend for us to understand the term with regard to Jesus? How does it differ from Hellenist/Roman understanding? From OT Hebrew understanding?
Spend time worshiping Jesus the Son of God in light of all the facets of his glory represented in Luke's narrative.